A 5'3 Perspective

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When To Retire Your Running Shoes [Plus a HIIT Workout That Will Kick Your Butt]

Knowing when to replace my running shoes is always a mystery to me. Should I base my decision on kilometers logged? Holes in the toes? Worn tread? After some research, here are my suggestions.

The holes in the toes are making me believe these shoes are on their way out!

The holes in the toes are making me believe these shoes are on their way out!

A general rule of thumb is to change your shoes approximately every 500 km (which is just over 300 miles). Now this distance depends on a few variables. The first is the weight of the runner – the heavier you are, the quicker you will wear out your sneakers. Next consider the efficiency of your stride. If you land hard on your heels with each step, for example, you’re going to wear through shoes more quickly than someone with a lighter technique. Finally, consider the cushioning of the shoes. A minimalist shoe that begins with less padding will wear out quicker than a more supportive shoe.

If you’re not sold on miles logged as an indicator of when you’ll need to replace your runners, there are some other variables to consider. The surface and terrain have a huge impact on the longevity of your shoes. A treadmill trainer will be able to rack up more miles than a concrete runner due to the cushioning of the terrain. Another red flag is worm tread on the soles. If it’s basically flat along bottom of the shoe and the tread is worn out— it’s time.  Some runners may notice an uneven wearing pattern on the soles of their shoes, this doesn’t mean that you should wait for the entire tread to be worn out, it just means that you are a heavier runner on one side.

Personally, I use my body to tell me when I’ve worn through a pair of shoes. If you’re used to pain-frees training – and all of a sudden you experience knee, back, foot, or shin pain – consider that a sign.

To increase the lifespan of your sneakers, try rotating between two pairs. By giving running shoes a day or two off the cushion will relax and keep it’s structure longer, but more importantly, you are changing up the way your foot is stressed based on the design of the shoe. Interchanging between a minimalist shoe and a structured shoe will not only increase the longevity of both pairs, but also help train your feet and improve your stride efficiency.

Now that you’ve got an idea of when to retire your running shoes, here’s a High Intensity Interval Training workout that will put them to good use.  HIIT Treadmill WorkoutFor your sprints you will want to go as fast as you possibly can on the treadmill. After 30 seconds, jump off the treadmill (to the side) or straddle it while the belt continues to move at your sprinting pace. This ensures that you don’t waste any time resetting the pace between each sprint. You may get some funny looks if you do this workout at the gym, but I promise you it is worth it.

Have a wonderful day!

xo Lauren

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So You Finished Your Race, Now What?

I’ll be the first to admit that after a big race, I always feel lost with my training. Getting back into the swing of things without having a goal to work towards is a different feeling, no more scheduled distances or paces, heck – no more running if I don’t feel like it. post race bluesFirst thing’s first, take some rest. Whether it is a day or a week, let your body relax and celebrate your accomplishments. Next you’ll want to make a new plan, try to incorporate workouts you longed to do during your training but didn’t have the time. For me, this includes more high intensity interval training (HIIT) and weight lifting. Here is what my new workout schedule looks like:

MONDAY: Rest Day
TUESDAY: Body Shred (HIIT Training)
WEDNESDAY: Run and Legs
THURSDAY: Spin and Back/Chest
FRIDAY: Run and Triceps/Biceps/Shoulders
SATURDAY: Body Shred (HIIT Training)
SUNDAY: Long Run

I am keeping Sunday as a long run day since I plan to sign up for a few 10k fun runs throughout the year. I always really enjoy embarking on weekend long runs because they give me time to decompress and reflect on my week.

Remember, finding a new training plan that works for you isn’t always going to be easy. It is okay to test out a couple different options until you find something that you love. Don’t give up, exercising without a race goal can still be a lot of run and extremely rewarding. My advice is to turn your motivation inwards and focus on achieving your healthiest body on your own terms. What works for others, may not be right for you – trust yourself and you’ll succeed!

xo Lauren


Workout Inspiration

Just a few days ago my city was filled with over 40,000 runners, joggers, and walkers – all participating in the Ottawa Race Weekend. With a wide range of race lengths, there really is something for everyone, from a kids 2km race to a full marathon.

Many of my friends participated in the events but something about running with such a large number of people makes me anxious – so I chose to cheer from the sidelines. The energy in the city is incredible during the event and I quickly became disappointed in myself that I let my nerves get the best of me.

On Sunday evening, I was feeling beyond inspired and set out to run a 5km route – which turned into a 10km in a personal best time of 55:38. This was only my second run of that length ever – needless to say I was kicking myself for not entering the Ottawa Race Weekend event.

But, let me give you a bit of background. My father is a runner, has been for more than half of his life. He just finished his 8th marathon this weekend – and his first marathon at age 60 [sorry for outing you dad!] placing 10th in his age category and qualifying once again for the Boston Marathon. Now I know he is my dad which makes me a little biased but you must admit – it is pretty amazing. He has always been my inspiration to run, but running does not come easy to me. One day I will run a half marathon – mark my words – I just don’t know when yet.

Over the past few years I have run distances of 5km fairly consistently but it isn’t often that I push the envelope much farther. I had not been progressing much in my training, and to be honest, I had pretty much given up on running. As many of you know I have recently turned to weight lifting and HIIT for my workouts. I cannot stress how much this type of exercise has helped me. I am in the best shape of my life, I am stronger than ever and I feel great. But what really impressed me was that I could go out, with no “training” and run 10km in quite a respectable time. This just goes to show that my new workout routines are really paying off. So I’d like to share a few ideas with you, in case you were thinking of switching things up at the gym.

My Workouts

I lift weights and do cardio 4 times a week, usually on the same days [that way I get 3 active rest days each week]. My schedule looks something like this:

Monday – TABATA cardio session and upper body weights (routine A).

Tuesday – HIIT run and lower body weights (routine A).

Wednesday – Active rest day [I usually bike to and from work every day and go for walks at night].

Thursday – TABATA cardio session and upper body weights (routine B).

Friday – HIIT run and lower body weights (routine B).

Saturday and Sunday are active rest days.

Sounds easy right? It is. I follow a workout from bodybuiling.com which can be found here. I do not emulate it completely because I try to do what feels best for my body, but at the beginning it is great framework. Make sure you lift heavy weights to see the best results – and NO, you will not look like a body builder just from following this plan so don’t bother worrying about “bulking”. For my TABATA workouts I do 20 seconds of work 10 seconds of rest for a total of 20 minutes. I know it doesn’t sound like much but I dare you to try it.

My go to TABATA work out. Cycle through 1 – 10 four times to complete a 20 minute session.

My advice, start slow and listen to your body. If you miss a day, don’t worry about it, make it up the next day. Once you find a routine that works for you you’ll catch your stride. I am by no means a personal trainer so take my advice with a grain of salt – but I hope you enjoy it!